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Bear wanders into Jet Propulsion Laboratory campus

October 26, 2011 | 12:41 pm

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory got a surprise on their way to work Tuesday morning when a 200-pound black bear wandered into the facility at around 4 a.m., officials said.

JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor told the Pasadena Sun that security officers were escorting workers to buildings in the area where the bear was spotted, and that employees were told not to go outside until the bear had left.

"JPL security office was monitoring it, they monitored it and put out an alert to employees arriving to work," she said.

There were no confrontations, and officials were confident that the bear had retreated back into the hills by the Angeles National Forest by 9 a.m.

"It just was walking around, didn't cause any trouble," McGregor said. "We were just being cautious about it."

Sgt. Scott Gibson of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station said officers there received word of the bear at 6:25 a.m. but that by the time deputies arrived on site, the animal had already left the premises.

Officials said it was believed to be the second bear on the JPL campus in the last decade.

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-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News

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